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MIP Fees

MVTMVT Feels At HomeRegistered Posts: 41
Hello,

I have recently attained my MIP licence in management accounts, Bookkeeping, and VAT. I have got my PII insurance and Money laundering so I am ready to go.

I have sent a load of business cards out to businesses and friends/family and awaiting for my first client. Could you please give me some advice on what else I can do to advertise my services?

Also, I would like to hear from fellow MIP members about your current fees, I am based in Birmingham.

I was thinking £25ph or £250 per day for bookkeeping, management accounts and VAT, is this to cheap or to high?

Thanks ever so.

Comments

  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,441
    £25 per hour sound reasonable enough to me I normally charge somewhere between £20 - £25 per hour. However unless you are doing a solid 10 hour day your price goes up?!

    Surely if someone wants to book you for a whole day they should get some discount / encouragement. If you are doing a normal 9am - 5:30pm day with an hour for lunch so having 7 1/12 chargeable hours why not do it at say £165?

    As for VAT returns I don't charge per hour but per return. Depending on the scheme, volume of transactions and state of records this can be anywhere from £50 per return for a simple FRS.

    I mainly work on fixed fees and packages so an hourly rate isn't how I charge. I charge purely on transactions and what the job is 'worth'.
    Regards,

    Burg
  • MVTMVT Feels At Home Registered Posts: 41
    Thanks Ian for your reply, yes I was thinking a fee per VAT return and per employee for the payroll.

    Michelle
  • sjkrsjkr Feels At Home MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 74
    Hi,

    I am based in Harrogate and am in the same situation as you - waiting for that first client. I am charging £20 per hour for book-keeping, £25 for management accounts and have flat rate fees for tax returns.
    I'm not having much luck in getting clients though. I advertised in a local brochure for three months, this only brought one enquiry. I am now trying Google adwords, it is directing people to my website, however no clients from it as yet!
    Have you thought about issuing a press release? I tried it, got a small piece in the local papers at no cost, and did get a couple of enquiries from it.
    Is everyone finding it hard to clients at the moment, or is it just me?????
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,441
    Getting clients particularly your first takes time. You need to find a method that works for you. This is specific to your business model and your area and your target clients.

    I've tried many different forms of advertising which has included Yellow Pages, Yell.com, Freeindex, Parish Magazines, Mail shots, cold calling and others.

    For me online advertising through Google Adwords works very well. You need to make sure of the following:-

    1. Research the key words for your local area (pretty sure they will be 'accountant Harrogate' and similar)
    2. Make sure you don't have too many key words and that they are relevant.
    3. Ensure you have negative keywords to avoid people looking for 'Accountancy Jobs Harrogate' for example.
    4. Have several different ads running and keep an eye on what is performing well.
    5. Make sure your ads are only shown in your area and not nationwide unless this is your target area. You can set out a shape on the map from your adwords account to target specific areas.
    6. Ensure your ads are not running 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Who is likely to be searching for an accountant at 3am?
    7. Review your competitors by searching for keywords and see what they are offering.
    8. After you have done all this you need to commit a decent budget. I spend around £100 per month which isn't really enough but it gets me around 5 enquiries per month. Enquiries very rarely mean no work I would say more than 90% of these are suitable new clients that engage us. I have never had a month where I have not covered my outlay.
    9. Review your campaign often making changes and experimenting.

    Doing all this may mean you get traffic to your website but doesn't mean you will get any enquiries. You need a call to action on your website encouraging clients to be in touch. Something for free, a discount, a great product?

    Also have a look at Google's other tools such as Webmaster tools and Google analytics as these also need to be looked at and can help a great deal with promoting your website. Does your website work well in all browsers as not everyone uses IE? Is your content clear and does your website make people want to contact you over your competitors?

    When you compare this to the other adverts I have run it is very good. Mail shots you are lucky if you get one response in 100 its more like 1 in 500. Parish magazines are ok for the money and bring in maybe one a year if that. Yellow pages well... I have never even covered half of my outlay for their fees.

    A lot will depend on your competitors and your local area and how much you are willing to put into it (time and money). Doing all of the above should keep you bust during your quiet periods.

    Best of luck
    Regards,

    Burg
  • sjkrsjkr Feels At Home MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 74
    Thanks Ian, some of those things I am already doing, but will be reviewing it after reading all your tips!
    I did try some direct marketing but got nothing from that either, I also wrote to local accountants thinking they might have some work they could subcontract out to me, but nothing there either!
    I am finding it more difficult than I thought to get clients, but I will persevere, I have spent my own money on this venture so I am determined to get some back!

    Regards,
    JP
  • jiltjilt Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,903
    What about signing up to free index? I get most of my clients through free index (and get a lot of click throughs to my website) and through advertising in local magazines.

    @sjkr - It took me about 3 months before I got my first enquiry through a local mag but I continued to advertise every month and now I get regular calls. People remember you're ad from month to month, and in my case eventually ring me.
  • sjkrsjkr Feels At Home MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 74
    I signed up to Freeindex 2 days ago!

    We have another local mag which I am going to put something in - the first one I tried wasn't even getting delivered half the time and I actually got some money back from them, you do have to be careful! It was pointless paying almost £50 per month for something that wasn't getting seen.

    Regards,

    JP
  • jiltjilt Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,903
    Fortunately my local mag is reliably delivered, keep at it, it will happen!

    Best of luck
  • sjkrsjkr Feels At Home MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 74
    Thank you, I have my fingers crossed!
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